Greg Harms – Go Fund Me

Greg Harms – #Booyah Forever!

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Mark Molthan is organizing this fundraiser.

When Greg would say, “I got you.  Send it!”  I knew without a doubt that he had me, and I was guaranteed I would be ok.  

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Harms Jan. 2020 Revelstoke

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Chantel, Freja , Dad / March 2, 2021 

It is complete sadness that I am setting this up for my friend Greg Harms.  We all loved him and he has touched so many lives around the world.  Greg is famous for his ability to lead people of all statures, while keeping everyone safe, but pushing it to the limits.  The “Adventure” he would give you was beyond anyones comprehension.  

He was generous. 
He had an enormous heart. 
He made you feel special.
He was an amazing photographer.
He was a pioneer. 
He was a great friend.

I thought he was immortal.    

He is a LEGEND.

We are setting this GoFund me up to help Chantel and Freja.  There is no goal or pressure to donate.  Just an avenue to Post a memory or Picture or Video to remember our leader, our friend, and our teammate.  

Please share with our community, please keep him alive with stories, let’s celebrate him and Lift up Chantel and Freja.

#BooyahForever
#Fuckyeah

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Freja / Jan 7, 202155631822_1617042904126484_r.jpeg
Brad and Greg Chile 2015Read moreDonateShare

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Mark Molthan OrganizerDallas, TXContact

Comments (4)

  • Joey Wolf donated $1,000Sending my love and strength to Chantel, Freja, and the Third Edge family. Greg was one of a kind; I will remember him forever.
    • 1 min
  • Margo Molthan donated $100Greg taught Mark the love of skiing and experiences that were indescribable. With Greg in charge, my fear and worries about my son went away. I, too, thought he was invincible. God bless his precious family.
    • 2 hrs
  • tim mooney donated $1,000HARMS
    • 16 hrs
  • kevin parra donated $5,000Chased this guy around the world to participate in the magic he created. F*ck Yeah- gonna miss you Harms
    • 21 hrs

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Greg Harms remembered by Aspen friends for his charisma, love of skiing

Longtime Aspen instructor and four others killed in helicopter crash outside of Anchorage

News NEWS | 2d agoScott Condon

Scott Condon  

scondon@aspentimes.com

Greg Harms | Courtesy Third Edge Heli

Friends of Greg Harms are mourning the loss of a man whose big heart and personality matched his physical stature.

Harms, 52, was killed Saturday evening along with four other people when their helicopter hit into a mountainside and then rolled downhill hundreds of feet in a range north of Anchorage, Alaska, officials said Monday. One person survived.

Harms was a heli-ski guide for Tordrillo Mountain Lodge. His love of skiing brought him to Aspen in 1997, where he was accepted into the exclusive club of Aspen Mountain ski instructors while still in his 20s.

“You really had to earn your way in at Ajax,” John Norton, a former number two executive at Aspen Skiing Co. who once headed the ski and snowboard schools, said Monday afternoon. “You don’t just say, ‘I want to teach at Aspen Mountain’ and move into the locker room.”

Norton said he would remember Harms as “a magical skier. You had a feeling he could do anything on skis.”

Andy Docken became friends with Harms during the 1997-98 winter through the ski school. Harms worked extensively at Aspen Mountain when he first joined the ski school there. He later branched out, guiding for heli-ski operations and founding a company that matched skiers with specific heli-ski adventures all over the world. His work often took him away from Aspen by late January but he still returned here to meet longtime clients and friends, according to Docken.

Docken spent 11 years as general manager of the Aspen Mountain Ski and Snowboard School and worked with Harms.

When asked what traits he would remember most about his friend, Docken replied, “The one most people are talking about is larger than life.”

Harms was 6-foot-5, 225 pounds and barrel chested. He had beach-blond hair and multiple tattoos.

While he could be physically imposing, he had a personality that put people at ease.

“He would easily connect with the most timid skiers,” Docken said. “He was friends with everybody.”Helping out

Friends of Greg Harms have created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his partner, Chantel, and their daughter Freja. It can be found at https://gf.me/v/c/dk4f/booyah-forever-greg-harms

Harms had an affinity for “ripping top-to-bottom laps on Aspen Mountain,” Docken said. He and Norton both recalled an incident, probably in the late 1990s, where Harms tried a tricky maneuver off a jump but landed face first, breaking out some of his front teeth.

Docken said Harms joked with him that Harms was more scared of the looks on the faces of people watching him collect his teeth than he was of the actual accident. Norton said Harms was back on the slopes within three days with his teeth replaced.

“He did have a bit of charisma and a swagger,” Norton said. “Not an obnoxious swagger but more of confidence.”

Docken said the name of Harms’ heli-skiing business exemplified his approach — Third Edge Heli, a reference to sitting back and letting it rip on the back edge of the skis.

Harms’ profile on the Third Edge website said he has been living the never-ending winter for 27 years.

“Last year, he spent 220 days on snow, and a majority of those days included a helicopter,” the website said.

He grew up in the shadow of Oregon’s Mount Hood and got his first teaching job at Heavenly in Lake Tahoe. He skied in Portillo for the first time at age 20 and started heli-ski guiding soon after.

He was a lead guide for Tordrillo Mountain Lodge.

Skico records said he was an examiner for Professional Snowsports Instructors of America. He was on the PSIA regional demo team and had been a staff trainer with Aspen Skiing Co. for several years.

Harms had been a two-year hiatus from teaching at Aspen Mountain but returned this year. Docken said Harms returned to reconnect with his Aspen friends and family of skiers.

Docken recalled how Harms would get an intense look in his eye. You knew you were in for an intense time on the slopes, partying or at whatever activity was happening when that look came to his eyes, Docken said.

He recalled that Harms had survived a helicopter crash earlier in his career as a heli-guide. He knew the risks and was comfortable with them. Unfortunately, he left behind a partner and their 2-month-old daughter, Docken said.

No information was immediately available on a memorial gathering for Harms.

In Saturday’s accident, the chartered helicopter, an Airbus AS350 B3, was “conducting heli-ski operations in an area of steep and remote terrain within the Chugach Mountains near Knik Glacier,” National Transportation Safety Board member Tom Chapman said Monday during a briefing with reporters, the Associated Press reported.

The crash site, about 21 miles (34 kilometers) southeast of Palmer, is only accessibly by helicopter because of the rugged terrain and snowy conditions. Palmer is located about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Anchorage.

In addition to Harms, the others who died include: Czech Republic residents Petr Kellner, 56, and Benjamin Larochaix, 50; Girdwood, Alaska resident Sean McMannany, 38; and Anchorage resident Zach Russel, 33, who was the pilot. Kellner, who was the richest man in the Czech Republic with a net worth over $17 billion, was being mourned in his home country, including a statement by the prime minister.

Recovery of the bodies was accelerated on Sunday because another snowstorm is forecast. The bodies were turned over to the Alaska State Medical Examiner. Recovery of the wreckage is now the main focus for investigators, but that timing is uncertain given the terrain and forecast of additional snow.

LARRY MCMURTRY, NOVELIST OF THE AMERICAN WEST, DIES AT 84 ~ NYT

One of my favorite all time authors

~~~

In “Lonesome Dove,” “The Last Picture Show” and dozens more novels and screenplays, he offered unromantic depictions of a long mythologized region.

The author Larry McMurtry in 1978 at home. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he wrote more than 60 novels and screenplays.
The author Larry McMurtry in 1978 at home. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he wrote more than 60 novels and screenplays.Credit… Diana Walker/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images

By Dwight GarnerMarch 26, 2021

Larry McMurtry, a prolific novelist and screenwriter who demythologized the American West with his unromantic depictions of life on the 19th-century frontier and in contemporary small-town Texas, died on Thursday at home in Archer City, Texas. He was 84.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said Diana Ossana, his friend and writing partner.

Over more than five decades, Mr. McMurtry wrote more than 30 novels and many books of essays, memoir and history. He also wrote more than 30 screenplays, including the one for “Brokeback Mountain” (written with Ms. Ossana, based on a short story by Annie Proulx), for which he won an Academy Award in 2006.

But he found his greatest commercial and critical success with “Lonesome Dove,” a sweeping 843-page novel about two retired Texas Rangers who drive a herd of stolen cattle from the Rio Grande to Montana in the 1870s. The book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 and was made into a popular television mini-series.

Mr. McMurtry wrote “Lonesome Dove” as an anti-western, a rebuke of sorts to the romantic notions of dime-store novels and an exorcism of the false ghosts in the work of writers like Louis L’Amour. “I’m a critic of the myth of the cowboy,’’ he told an interviewer in 1988. “I don’t feel that it’s a myth that pertains, and since it’s a part of my heritage I feel it’s a legitimate task to criticize it.’’

But readers warmed to the vivid characters in “Lonesome Dove.” Mr. McMurtry himself ultimately likened it, in terms of its sweep, to a Western “Gone With the Wind.”

Heath Ledger, left, and Jake Gyllenhaal in a scene from the 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain.” Mr. McMurtry and Diana Ossana won an Academy Award for their screenplay, based on a short story by Annie Proulx.
Heath Ledger, left, and Jake Gyllenhaal in a scene from the 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain.” Mr. McMurtry and Diana Ossana won an Academy Award for their screenplay, based on a short story by Annie Proulx.Credit…Kimberly French/Focus Features
Robert Duvall, left, and Ricky Schroder in a scene from the 1989 mini-series “Lonesome Dove.” Mr. McMurtry found his greatest commercial and critical success with the sweeping novel on which the mini-series was based, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986.
Robert Duvall, left, and Ricky Schroder in a scene from the 1989 mini-series “Lonesome Dove.” Mr. McMurtry found his greatest commercial and critical success with the sweeping novel on which the mini-series was based, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986.Credit…CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Mr. McMurtry was the son of a rancher, and the realism in his books extended to the Texas he knew as a young man. His first novel, “Horseman, Pass By” (1961), examined the values of the Old West as they came into conflict with the modern world. Reviewing the novel in The New York Times Book Review, the Texas historian Wayne Gard wrote:

“The cow hands ride horses less often than pickup trucks or Cadillacs. And in the evening, instead of sitting around a campfire strumming guitars and singing ‘Git along, little dogie,’ they are more likely to have a game at the pool hall, drink beer and try their charms on any girls they can find.”

He added that Mr. McMurtry had “not only a sharp ear for dialogue but a gift of expression that easily could blossom in more important works.”

From the start of his career, Mr. McMurtry’s books were attractive to filmmakers. “Horseman, Pass By” was made into “Hud,” directed by Martin Ritt and starring Paul Newman. Mr. McMurtry’s funny, elegiac and sexually frank coming-of-age novel “The Last Picture Show” (1966) was made into a film of the same title in 1971 starring Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd and directed by Peter Bogdanovich. The movie of his 1975 novel, “Terms of Endearment,” directed by James L. Brooks and starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson, won the Academy Award for best picture of 1983.

Mr. McMurtry with Ms. Ossana, his longtime collaborator, in 2006, when they won the Academy Award for “Brokeback Mountain.”
Mr. McMurtry with Ms. Ossana, his longtime collaborator, in 2006, when they won the Academy Award for “Brokeback Mountain.”Credit…Brian Snyder/Reuters

Mr. McMurtry relished his role as a literary outsider. He lived for much of his life in his hometown, Archer City, Texas, two hours northwest of Dallas. He had the same postal box for nearly 70 years. When he walked onstage to accept his Oscar for “Brokeback Mountain,” he wore bluejeans and cowboy boots below his dinner jacket. He reminded audiences that the screenplay was an adaptation of a short story by Ms. Proulx.

Yet Mr. McMurtry was a plugged-in man of American letters. For two years in the early 1990s he was American president of PEN, the august literary and human rights organization. He was a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, where he often wrote on topics relating to the American West. His friends included the writer Susan Sontag, whom he once took to a stock car race.

For some 50 years, Mr. McMurtry was also a serious antiquarian bookseller. His bookstore in Archer City, Booked Up, is one of America’s largest. It once occupied six buildings and contained some 400,000 volumes. In 2012 Mr. McMurtry auctioned off two-thirds of those books and planned to consolidate. About leaving the business to his heirs, he said: “One store is manageable. Four stores would be a burden.”

Mr. McMurtry’s private library alone held some 30,000 books and was spread over three houses. He called compiling it a life’s work, “an achievement equal to if not better than my writings themselves.” 

Mr. McMurtry at his bookstore in 2000. It once occupied six buildings and contained some 400,000 volumes but has since been consolidated into one building.
Mr. McMurtry at his bookstore in 2000. It once occupied six buildings and contained some 400,000 volumes but has since been consolidated into one building.Credit…Ralph Lauer/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, via Associated Press

Larry Jeff McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on June 3, 1936, to Hazel Ruth and William Jefferson McMurtry. His father was a rancher. The family lived in what Mr. McMurtry called a “bookless ranch house” outside of Archer City, and later in the town itself. Archer City would become the model for Thalia, a town that often appeared in his fiction.

He became a serious reader early, and discovered that the ranching life was not for him. “While I was passable on a horse,” he wrote in “Books,” his 2008 memoir, “I entirely lacked manual skills.” 

He graduated from North Texas State University in 1958 and married Jo Ballard Scott a year later. The couple had a son, James, now a well-regarded singer and songwriter, before divorcing.

After receiving an M.A. in English from Rice University in Houston in 1960, Mr. McMurtry went west, to Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow in a class that included the future novelist Ken Kesey. 

Thanks to his friendship with Mr. Kesey, Mr. McMurtry made a memorable cameo appearance in Tom Wolfe’s classic of new journalism, “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” (1968). The book details Mr. Kesey’s drug-fueled journey across America, along with a gang of friends collectively known as the Merry Pranksters, in a painted school bus.

In the scene, Mr. Kesey’s bus, driven by Neal Cassady, pulls up to Mr. McMurtry’s suburban Houston house, and a naked and wigged-out woman hops out and snatches his son. Mr. Wolfe describes Mr. McMurtry “reaching tentatively toward her stark-naked shoulder and saying, ‘Ma’am! Ma’am! Just a minute, ma’am!’” 

Mr. McMurtry teaching at Rice University in Houston in 1972. He wrote his first novels while teaching English there and at Texas Christian University, George Mason College and American University.
Mr. McMurtry teaching at Rice University in Houston in 1972. He wrote his first novels while teaching English there and at Texas Christian University, George Mason College and American University.Credit…via Rice University

Mr. McMurtry wrote his first novels while teaching English at Texas Christian University, Rice University, George Mason College and American University. He was not fond of teaching, however, and left it behind as his career went forward. 

He moved to the Washington area and with a partner opened his first Booked Up store in 1971, dealing in rare books. He opened the much larger Booked Up, in Archer City, in 1988 and owned and operated it until his death. 

In a 1976 profile of Mr. McMurtry in The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin observed his book-buying skills. “Larry knows which shade of blue cover on a copy of ‘Native Son’ indicates a first printing and which one doesn’t,” Mr. Trillin wrote. “He knows the precise value of poetry books by Robert Lowell that Robert Lowell may now have forgotten writing.”

While much of Mr. McMurtry’s writing dealt with the West or his Texas heritage, he also wrote novels about Washington (“Cadillac Jack”), Hollywood (“Somebody’s Darling”) and Las Vegas (“The Desert Rose”). There was a comic brio in his best books, alongside an ever-present melancholy. He was praised for his ability to create memorable and credible female characters, including the self-centered widow Aurora Greenway in “Terms of Endearment,” played by Shirley MacLaine in the film version.

In the novel, Aurora is up front about her appetites. “Only a saint could live with me, and I can’t live with a saint,” she says. “Older men aren’t up to me, and younger men aren’t interested.”

“I believe the one gift that led me to a career in fiction was the ability to make up characters that readers connect with,” Mr. McMurtry once wrote. “My characters move them, which is also why those same characters move them when they meet them on the screen.” 

His early novels were generally well reviewed, although Thomas Lask, writing about “The Last Picture Show” in The Times Book Review, said, “Mr. McMurtry is not exactly a virtuoso at the typewriter.” Other critics would pick up that complaint. Mr. McMurtry wrote too much, some said, and quantity outstripped quality. “I dash off 10 pages a day,” Mr. McMurtry boasted in “Books.”

Some felt that Mr. McMurtry clouded the memories of some of his best books, including “The Last Picture Show,” “Lonesome Dove” and “Terms of Endearment,” by writing sequels to them, sequels that sometimes turned into tetralogies or even quintets. It was hard to recall, while reading his “Berrybender Narratives,” a frontier soap opera that ran to four books, the writer who delivered “Lonesome Dove.”

Mr. McMurtry near the Royal Theater in Archer City, Texas, a locale in his novel “The Last Picture Show.” His store, Booked Up, is nearby.
Mr. McMurtry near the Royal Theater in Archer City, Texas, a locale in his novel “The Last Picture Show.” His store, Booked Up, is nearby.Credit…Mark Graham for The New York Times

Mr. McMurtry sometimes felt the sting of critical neglect. “Should I be bitter about the literary establishment’s long disinterest in me?” he wrote in “Literary Life,” a 2009 memoir. “I shouldn’t, and mostly I’m not, though I do admit to the occasional moment of irritation.” In the late 1960s and early ’70s, he liked to tweak his critics by wearing a T-shirt that read “Minor Regional Novelist.” 

He was open about the shadows that sometimes fell over his life and writing.

After completing “Terms of Endearment,” he entered what he described as “a literary gloom that lasted from 1975 until 1983,” a period when he came to dislike his own prose. He had a heart attack in 1991, followed by quadruple-bypass surgery. In the wake of that surgery he fell into a long depression during which, he told a reporter, he did little more than lie on a couch for more than a year.

That couch belonged to Ms. Ossana, whom Mr. McMurtry had met in the 1980s at an all-you-can-eat catfish restaurant in Tucson. They began living together, and collaborating shortly afterward — Mr. McMurtry writing on a typewriter, Ms. Ossana entering the work into a computer, often editing and rearranging.

“When I first met Larry, he was involved with about five or six different women,” Ms. Ossana told Grantland.com in 2014. “He was quite the ladies’ man. I was always really puzzled. One day I said to him, ‘So all of these women are your girlfriends?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Well, do they know about one another?’ He said, ‘Nooo.’”

Mr. McMurtry had reportedly completed a draft of a memoir titled “62 Women,” about some of the women he knew and admired. He had an unusual arrangement in the last years of his life.

In 2011 he married Norma Faye Kesey, Ken Kesey’s widow, and she moved in with Mr. McMurtry and Ms. Ossana. “I went up and drug Faye out of Oregon,” he told Grantland.com. “I think I had seen Faye a total of four times over 51 years, and I married her. We never had a date or a conversation. Ken would never let me have conversations with her.”

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. McMurtry is survived by two sisters, Sue Deen and Judy McLemore; a brother, Charlie; and a grandson.

Mr. McMurtry’s many books included three memoirs and three collections of essays, including “Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen,” published in 1999. “There are days,” Mr. McMurtry wrote, “where I think my own nonfiction will outlive my novels.” 

In addition to old books, Mr. McMurtry prized antiquated methods of composition. He wrote all of his work on a typewriter, and did not own a computer. He wrote for the same editor, Michael Korda at Simon & Schuster, for more than three decades before moving to Liveright, an imprint of W.W. Norton, in 2014.

“Because of when and where I grew up, on the Great Plains just as the herding tradition was beginning to lose its vitality,” he once said, “I have been interested all my life in vanishing breeds.”

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Larry McMurtry, award-winning novelist who pierced myths of his native Texas, dies at 84 ~ The washington post

Author Larry McMurtry in 1980. (Linda Wheeler/The Washington Post)

By Joe HolleyMarch 26, 2021 at 10:04 a.m. MDTAdd to list

Larry McMurtry, a Texas-born, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Oscar-winning screenwriter who pierced the myth of the Lone Star State’s romanticized past in works such as “Lonesome Dove” and “The Last Picture Show,” died March 25 at his home in Tucson. He was 84.

His wife, Norma Faye Kesey McMurtry, confirmed the death but said she did not know the cause.

In a prodigious career spanning six decades, Mr. McMurtry wrote more than 30 novels, scripts for nearly as many movies and television series, three memoirs, countless book reviews and essays, and biographies of Western characters including Crazy Horse, George Custer and Buffalo Bill.

His best-known work remains “Lonesome Dove,” an epic novel about cowboys and cattle drives, grizzled Texas Rangers, frontier prostitutes, dexterous gamblers, odoriferous buffalo hunters and other roisterous denizens of the American West. The book sold more than 1 million copies, received the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and became a popular CBS miniseries starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall.

“Some claim the three essential books in Texas history are the Bible, the Warren Commission report and Larry McMurtry’s ‘Lonesome Dove,’ ” historian Douglas Brinkley wrote in a 2017 New York Times essay.

Ironically, “Lonesome Dove” appeared just a few years after Mr. McMurtry wrote a long essay for the Texas Observer in which he gigged his fellow Texas writers for their unseemly swoon over cowboys and for their lingering attachment to a rural Texas yesteryear. Relishing the role of curmudgeon, he observed that the open range had sprouted sprawling suburbia, that old barns and rustic windmills had given way to sleek glass towers thrusting skyward in several of the nation’s largest cities.

“Easier to write about the homefolks, the old folks, cowboys, or the small town,” he chided, “than to deal with the more immediate and frequently less simplistic experience of city life.” His own acclaimed trilogy of Houston novels — “Moving On” (1970), “All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers” (1972) and “Terms of Endearment” (1975) — plumbed the textured richness, brio and occasional craziness of one of America’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas.

Mr. McMurtry at a 1990 rally for freedom of art in Washington. (James K.W. Atherton/The Washington Post)

Besides “Lonesome Dove,” several of Mr. McMurtry’s books made acclaimed translations to the screen, notably “Terms of Endearment,” “The Last Picture Show” and “Horseman, Pass By,” the last of which was adapted into the Paul Newman drama “Hud” in 1963.

In 2006, Mr. McMurtry shared an Academy Award with Diana Ossana, his frequent collaborator, for their adaptation of a 1997 short story by Annie Proulx about a tragic, decades-long love affair between two gay cowboys. The story became the hit movie “Brokeback Mountain” (2005), starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Mr. McMurtry, a onetime co-owner of a bookstore in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, also was an obsessive collector of antiquarian books. In the late 1980s, he left the shop, Booked Up, bought a string of abandoned buildings in the moldering Texas town where he was raised, and stocked them with his personal collection, books from the Georgetown store and private collections he continued to buy — some 450,000 in all.

His intention, he said, was to turn Archer City — “a bookless town in a bookless part of the state” — into a Lone Star version of Hay-on-Wye, the celebrated bookstore and book-festival town in Wales.

Mr. McMurtry’s literary ambitions, for himself and his town, could be traced to a childhood on his family’s struggling cattle ranch. When a cousin went away to World War II and left him a box of boyhood adventure books, he began “a subversive, deeply engrossing secret life as a reader,” he wrote in a 1999 memoir, “Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen.”

“Unfit for ranch work because of my indifference to cattle,” he continued, “I went instead into the antiquarian book trade, becoming, in effect, a book rancher.”

(Simon & Schuster)
(Liveright)

Page and screen

Larry Jeff McMurtry was born in Wichita Falls, Tex., on June 3, 1936. He graduated from what is now the University of North Texas in 1958 and received a master’s degree in English from Rice University in 1960. While at North Texas, he enrolled in a creative writing course and wrote a short story dealing with the death of a Texas Panhandle rancher who resembled the legendary Charles Goodnight.

~~~ CONTINUE ~~~

BEHIND THE SLICKROCK CURTAIN and other stories

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Behind the Slickrock Curtain is a novel — literary fiction, with a pinch of post-modern mystery and environmental thriller thrown in. It’s a novel of place, a road trip book, a tome for our post-truth age, and a tragicomic romp through the Anthropocene, replete with searing, irreverent, abrasive, satirical, and occasionally sad commentary and insight.

The narrative unfolds in the spectacular sacrifice zone known as the Four Corners Country, taking readers from a winter’s night on Cedar Mesa some twenty years ago, to near-future Tucson, Winslow, Farmington, and Durango, before returning to Utah. Most of the action takes place within the original (pre-shrinkage) boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument.

SimpleSlickrockCoverflat

Malcolm Brautigan is one of the protagonists — if someone as flawed as he is can be a protagonist. He once was an environmental journalist, writing byzantine wonk-fests for the Tucson Tribune. Then Brautigan’s marriage fell apart, and, under pressure from the Tribune‘s corporate owners, he penned a widely-read, but partly fabricated article exposing a sleazy bit of collusion between a local environmental group and a “green” developer of a “sustainable” desert community of 10,000 people. Not a good idea, particularly since the developer was dating Malcolm’s soon-to-be-ex-wife at the time. Malcolm lost his job and, after slaving away for a “content mill,” found a new path: Producing fake news. He is now the editor-in-chief of Alt-News.org. He manages to pay his rent and stay stocked up with Bombay Sapphire gin, his chosen salve for a chafed conscience.

Eliza Santos is Malcolm’s partner in protagonism. She is an artist, creating sculpture/dioramas — entire worlds — from books, clay, and found objects. As of late she’s been far more productive artistically than her husband, Peter Simons, despite the fact that she’s working full-time as a librarian to pay the family bills. To her, Malcolm is as much an irritant as he is a hero of this tale. She’s witty, brash, and principled. Her major flaw: She spends an inordinate amount of time devising harebrained business schemes with her friend Ann in hopes of making enough cash to live a truly Bohemian lifestyle lolling around in the sunshine and eating sardines in a small village in Portugal.

Peter Simons is Eliza’s husband, Malcolm’s oldest friend, and a moderately successful painter who has abandoned that medium to focus on far less lucrative environmental/land/performance art (e.g. a pyrotechnic dance performance on a uranium tailings depository, Tang-orange breed of corn planted to commemorate the Gold King Mine spill, etc.). His latest project is in this vein, but is also a mystery. We only know that it is inspired by his belief that the Gold King Mine spill was the ultimate piece of environmental art. He’s obsessed with originality in his work, possibly due to a dark secret from his past. A couple of weeks before the Summer Solstice he heads out into southern Utah to do research for his art installation. He doesn’t return.

Plot: Eliza and Malcolm set off for the canyons of San Juan County, Utah, in search of the missing Peter, their only clues a series of mysterious files found on Peter’s laptop relating to tar sands, adventure resorts, and an ethically suspect Secretary of Interior. They are drawn into a dangerous dance with petroleum engineers, the ghost of a uranium tycoon, energy developers, corrupt politicians, adventure capitalists — and a “monster” and its “daughters.” Along the way the book delves into journalism in the post-truth era, art, beauty, environmental protection, the deadly legacy left by the nuclear age, and the power of friendship — all with a healthy dollop of sexual and intellectual tension and humor. 

IF YOU DARE, THERE’S MUCH MORE

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What the fake critics are saying: 

“Thrilling …. riveting … a real page-turner! It’s a joy to ride along with post-truth heroes Santos and Brautigan on this saucy, sassy romp through the Anthropocene!”

— Juan Lopez-Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief of Alt-News.org

“It’s okay, I guess, but what’s up with that pumpjack sex scene? Is that what they mean by post-modern?”

— Chad, some guy on the street 

“If you combined Carl Hiaasen, Lydia Millet, Chuck Bowden, and … Wait? It’s kind of perverse to do that, isn’t it? And do you have their consent? Anyway, maybe if you twisted all of their writings together you’d end up with something kind of like Behind the Slickrock Curtain. Or not.”

— Michael Baines, Culture Editor at Alt-News.org

“Surprisingly readable.”

— Laurel, journalism professor and Brautigan’s former editor at the Tucson Tribune

“First there was the War on Christmas. And now Behind the Slickrock Curtain?!? What’s this world coming to?”

— Brad Melcher, Political Reporter at Alt-News.org

CHEECH MARIN’S CHICANO ART MUSEUM IS TO OPEN THIS FALL

The new center, in Riverside, Calif., will be dedicated exclusively to showcasing Mexican-American art and culture.

The actor and comedian Cheech Marin, a collector of Chicano art, will open the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry in Riverside, Calif., this fall.
The actor and comedian Cheech Marin, a collector of Chicano art, will open the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry in Riverside, Calif., this fall.Credit…Monica Almeida for The New York Times

By Sarah Bahr

  • Published Jan. 26, 2021

It was a stifling Sunday in 1950s South Central Los Angeles, when Cheech Marin, stuck at church, let his eyes drift to the ceiling.

What he saw there would spark a lifelong love of art.

“There were painted guys in long sheets walking in the clouds” on a mural above his head, said Marin, 74, who is best known as half of the comedy team Cheech & Chong. “And then I’d look in the corner and be like, ‘Why are these guys barbecuing that other guy?’ Those two things informed my aesthetic from that point on: It had to be glorious and gory at the same time.”

In the mid-1980s, Marin, buoyed by a burgeoning film career, made the leap from merely admiring Rembrandts and Vermeers in museums to acquiring work. A third-generation Mexican-American, he focuses on Chicano artists, and has amassed one of the largest such collections in the world.

Now, his more than 700 paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures will have a permanent home in the former Riverside, Calif., public library. Plans and funding were approved last week by the City Council there for the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry, which will feature works by artists including Gilbert “Magú” Luján, Frank Romero and Carlos Almaraz.

The art museum and academic center, which is slated to open this fall, is intended to be the country’s first permanent space exclusively dedicated to showcasing Mexican-American art and culture — a standard-bearing role Marin doesn’t take lightly.

“People hear ‘Chicano art’ and think it’s a guy sleeping under a cactus or something,” Marin said. But for him, it’s about seeking out the “sabor” — Spanish for flavor — of Mexican-American culture, in works by artists born in the United States and influenced by both their Mexican cultural heritage and their upbringing with Cheerios and Uncle Sam.

Plans for the center, which will be managed by the Riverside Art Museum, have been in the works for nearly four years. The city will contribute about $1 million per year under a 25-year agreement to cover operating costs, and the Riverside Art Museum is funding the $13.3 million renovation costs for the former library building through a $9.7 million state grant and private donations.

A rendering of The Cheech, Cheech Marin’s art museum and cultural center that is slated to open this fall in Riverside, Calif.Credit…via Riverside Art Museum



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RIDGWAY ARTIST LISA ISSENBERG IS BACK FOR SECOND YEAR MAKING X GAMES ASPEN MEDALS

Every medal is created by hand with largely recycled materials

Austin Colbert

Lisa Issenberg works on the X Games Aspen medals in her Ridgway studio. Photo courtesy of Eve Melmon.

The X Games medals are meant to be special. They are awarded to athletes who achieve a feat that stands apart in his or her sport, an accomplishment that likely took years to reach.

Colorado artist Lisa Issenberg understands the responsibility that comes with making such a prize.

“The end result just needs to be a significant award for the incredible athletes who have worked perhaps a whole lifetime to make it onto the podium,” Issenberg said. “I definitely don’t take it lightly. It’s a grand task to produce something that incorporates a large organization’s branding and to do that in style with beauty and depth and heft. I want to give it my all.”

Issenberg, who operates out of her Ridgway studio, dubbed Kiitellä — Finnish for “to thank, applaud, or praise” — was first brought on by X Games in 2020 to make their highly sought after medals. The partnership went so well that ESPN’s Brian Kerr, their associate director of competition for X Games who oversees the medals, brought Issenberg back into the fold for X Games Aspen 2021, which takes place Friday through Sunday at Buttermilk Ski Area.

“We are thrilled to once again partner with such a creative visionary, local artist. We really appreciate and share her values,” Kerr said. “Her environmentally-sound practices line up with our X Games sustainability program, and we love that our X Games Aspen medals are designed and brought to life right here in her studio in the great state of Colorado.”

Every medal Issenberg makes is created by hand with largely recycled materials and limited to no excess waste. She created her company with the intent of making awards and has a clientele that includes Aspen Skiing Co. — she’s long made the Power of Four medals — the Birds of Prey World Cup ski races at Beaver Creek, and The North Face, among many others.

Issenberg uses a minimalist design philosophy in her work — drawing inspiration from Bauhaus as well as the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi, which essentially is the acceptance of imperfection. The design she used on this year’s X Games medals is certainly different from a year ago, but still has the same familiar feel.

“It’s a fresh new design, but you can tell they came out of the same studio and by the same hands,” Issenberg said. “Every project is a new design challenge and I never know if I’m going to get it right. Like a painter or writer, you can’t know if or when a piece is complete. But if you keep the pencil moving, the final design surfaces like a haiku and you know that’s it.”

Not only is Issenberg responsible for making the main X Games medals, but she also made this year’s Knuckle Huck rings, two of which go to the winner of each contest. On top of that, she made this year’s Real Series medals — ESPN’s ski, snowboard and mountain bike film competition — as well as its Rocket League medals, a virtual competition based off the popular video game.

For X Games Aspen 2020, Issenberg created nearly 100 medals, but that number was cut dramatically this year as the coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the event.


Courtesy photos of the X Games Aspen 2021 Knuckle Huck rings, created by Ridgway artist Lisa Issenberg. 

“I’ve listened to a few athletes talk about some of their competitions being canceled, but X Games, the ones that can still be involved this year look forward to it and have to train with a goal in mind,” Issenberg said. “It was really beautiful to see the creativity that came out of the pandemic. At first everything just shut down and it was a bit of a panic. And then, bit-by-bit, you see organizations popping up and saying, ‘Well, let’s just remake what we can with what we have.’”

X Games has certainly been remade because of the pandemic. In 2021, it won’t include any of the motorsports, such as snowmobiling, any of the concerts or any of the spectators. Roughly 100 athletes were invited to take part in the 14 skiing and snowboarding events.

That however, is at the heart of Winter X Games. The athlete lineup still includes the sport’s best — from Chloe Kim to Shaun White to hometown hero Alex Ferreira — and remains a focal point for professional skiers and snowboarders.

Winning an X Games medal is hardly about the medal, but the medal is representative of a great achievement, by both artist and athlete alike.

“This is art at its finest,” Kerr said. “We are stepping into 2021 to try and get back to having some fun again. We are looking to bring some X Games light to clear away the COVID fog. We are all looking forward now, not back. We are hopeful our athletes can come together and thrive at X Games weekend.”


Boebert Accepts Illegally Gifted Gun from White Supremacist Militia Members

Boebert Accepts Illegally Gifted Gun from White Supremacist Militia Members 

“She’s doing what we sent her there to do”, says Stephen Moore with Colorado Boots on the Ground, Bikers for Trump, “on behalf of the Colorado Chapter of Boots on the Ground Bikers for Trump, we have a little present for you.”

 Moore, who appeared with Boebert at the Colorado Capitol in December 2019 and can seen holding up the white supremacist hand gesture used by the radical militia ‘3 Percenters’ in the now infamous photo, gifted Boebert a custom printed Glock 22 with the congressional seal, complete with magazines, ammunition, and a custom printed display case.


The gift exchange breaks multiple laws, both state and federal: 
1. It is illegal for members of Congress to accept gifts over $50 (Glock 22s are $500 – $600 without custom printing)
2. It is illegal in Colorado to gift guns to non-immediate relatives
3. It is illegal to use the Congressional Seal without approval 

“Every day we learn more and more about just how deep Lauren Boebert’s ties to White Supremacists go” said Rural Colorado United Co-Chair George Autobee, “if she’s willing to break laws on camera for them today, what is going on behind the scenes?”

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